Art Dirt: What’s the Point of Portraiture?

by Glasstire June 2, 2024
A portrait of King Charles in red.

Jonathan Yeo, “HM King Charles III,” oil on canvas, 7 1/2 feet x 4 7/16 feet (detail)

Inspired by recently unveiled controversial portraits of King Charles III and Catherine, Princess of Wales, Brandon Zech and Gabriel Martinez discuss portraiture’s privileged place in art history.

“For the entire history of portraiture, the goal has been to depict the person as they are because it has been the only way for us to be able to tell how people looked. But now that images of famous people can be ubiquitously found on the internet, artists have a little more freedom to play with the idea of what a portrait is.”

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This week’s podcast is sponsored in part by the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art (CASETA), which will present their Annual Symposium and Texas Art Fair from June 21-23 at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Greenway Plaza Hotel in Houston. The event will feature a variety of lectures and conversations revolving around Early Texas Art, along with an accompanying art fair. To see a complete list of events and register for the program, please go here.

Related Readings:
NPR: The controversy over King Charles’ portrait
New Yorker: Why Does the New Kate Middleton Portrait Look Nothing Like Her?
CNN: Michelle Obama’s official portrait looks nothing like her
Glasstire: The Unfinished Portrait of General Bonaparte and the Art of Incomplete Masterpieces
Glasstire: Redefining the Portrait: “The Sitter” at Blue Star Contemporary
Glasstire: Making a Phenomenon: Talking with Nestor Topchy
Glasstire: Four Texas Artists Among National Portrait Gallery’s 2022 Outwin Competition Finalists
Glasstire: American Portraiture Today: Isolation, Immigration, and Identity
Glasstire: Breaking the Boundaries of Expression: A Conversation with Oliver Freeston about Queer Portraiture
New Yorker: Portraits of Power
Chairish: A Complete History Of Portraiture And Its Artists

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